Juices have been the wonder drink for a few years running now. With celebrity endorsements and huge marketing campaigns, it’s easy to see why juice has taken off among health aficionados. Many people assume that while fruit juices are tasty, vegetable juice which doesn't taste nearly as good, is where you see the real health boost. But just how healthy are vegetable juices in reality? This article will delve into this question and answer once and for all, is V8 good for you, or is it just another deceptive fad?
What is V8?
V8 is a well-known juice brand that produces fruit and vegetable-based beverages. The drink was developed back in 1933 and it takes its name from the eight vegetables that are combined in the recipe. The V8 brand is now owned by the Campbell Soup Company.
The traditional version of V8 was a tomato-based beverage. Today, several other versions are available on the market. The standard version of the juice contains:
Compared to other popular beverages, V8 is a relatively healthy choice. Its main ingredients are all vegetables, and it contains no added sugars.
What are the Benefits of V8?
Because V8 contains healthy ingredients and no added sugars. The array of vegetables that are used in V8 contains lots of healthy nutrients that result in several wonderful health benefits.
Here’s a rundown of the nutrients that are found in 100 milliliters of V8:
- Carbohydrates, 3.75 g
- Sugars, 2.92 g
- Fiber, 0.4g
- Protein, 0.83 g
- Calcium, 12.0 mg
- Sodium, 267.0 mg
You’ll also find a range of vitamins in the beverage.
A single bottle of V8 purportedly contains 40% of an adult’s daily vitamin A requirement. Vitamin A is a crucial vitamin that’s found in a range of foods. It helps to support vision, a healthy immune system, and a healthy reproductive system. It can also contribute to the healthy functioning of many organs.
V8 is an excellent source of vitamin C, with an 8-oz glass containing roughly 150% of the recommended daily intake. Vitamin C is a super healthy vitamin that aids in growth, development, and tissue remains. It can also help to support the immune system.
V8 tends to contain a relatively high amount of potassium, because of added potassium chloride, which can help to regulate high blood pressure, relieve heart disorders, and ease stress and anxiety.
Low in Sugar
Compared to other supermarket favorites, V8 is relatively low in sugar. For instance, while V8 has 6 g of sugar, the same amount of orange juice contains around 22 g of sugar. This is because vegetables contain less sugar than fruits. It’s also because other popular juices tend to contain added sugars.
Two Servings of Vegetables Per Glass
This vegetable mixture counts as two of your five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. This makes it a great option if you’re looking for an odd boost to your daily fruit and vegetable intake.
What are the Downsides of V8?
Unfortunately, there are a few downsides to V8 juice. Bear these in mind before you start supplementing your daily side salad with a glass of V8.
Pasteurization Removes Some Vitamins
Like almost all juices on the market, V8 undergoes a pasteurization process. While this process removes harmful bacteria and helps to keep the juice fresh for weeks on end, it can also make the juice a little less healthy than it might have once been.
Heat pasteurization, while killing unhealthy bacteria, also removes a lot of the healthy components found in V8’s ingredients, like vitamins, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. Therefore, because of the pasteurization process, it’s important to remember that juice can never be an adequate substitute for whole foods.
Lack of Fiber
Whole vegetables contain plenty of healthy fiber. However, this fiber is removed from V8 in the pasteurization and juicing process, too.
Fiber is a crucial part of our diet because:
- It fills us up, preventing us from eating too much
- It slows blood sugar spikes
- It helps us to digest
- It promotes regular, healthy bowel movements
- It improves cholesterol levels
Without the much-needed fiber that normally comes from fruits and vegetables, our bodies may run into health problems down the line. For instance, if you completely substitute V8 for all fruits and vegetables in your diet, you risk high blood sugar, poor digestion, and high cholesterol.
For this reason, too much V8, like any juice, can be harmful over time.
High in Sodium
V8 contains added sodium. This is included to add flavor and to preserve the juice. The original recipe contains 640 mg of sodium. However, too much sodium in the diet can be harmful.
The main risk associated with sodium is high blood pressure. This is because salt holds excess fluid in the body, thus creating extra work for the heart. Over time, this excess fluid may put you at risk of stroke, heart failure, kidney disease, and other worrying illnesses.
Is V8 Good for You in a Healthy Lifestyle?
As you can see, V8 has both good and bad facets. While it’s made of a wide range of super-healthy vegetables, the pasteurization process removes fiber and nutrients, creating a few health risks such as high blood pressure and poor digestion.
The main problem with V8, along with other “healthy” juices, is their marketing strategy. By positioning themselves as super drinks that can completely replace whole vegetables, many consumers are under the false impression that drinking V8 means you don’t need to actually eat vegetables.
However, without whole foods, we don’t get the fiber we need to function properly.
So, the answer to “is V8 good for you” is a little complicated. Yes, it's good for you, however, only in moderation and alongside a healthy diet of solid foods. When V8 is consumed as your only source of fruits and vegetables, the beverage effectively makes you less healthy.
Which Types of V8 Are Best?
These days, Campbell’s Soup produces a range of V8 flavor options. While all are based around the same 8-vegetable principle, they each contain slightly different ingredients.
V8 Low Sodium
This version of V8 contains much less sodium than the original. If you’re worried about your salt intake, but you love the taste of V8, this option might be good for you. However, this version still contains little fiber, so it does pose some of the same health risks as the original version when consumed in excess.
V8 Essential Antioxidants
V8 Essential Antioxidants juice contains additional vitamins A, C, and E. Vitamin E is excellent for eye health, immune function, and anti-inflammation.
V8 High Fiber
We’ve mentioned several times that the low fiber content in the original V8 juice poses a lot of problems and risks. The great thing about this option is that it actually contains 5 g of fiber which is 20% of your daily recommended intake. If you want to improve your digestive functions, your blood pressure, and your cholesterol levels, try adding V8 High Fiber to a healthy diet filled with whole foods as well as juice.
There are many other options when it comes to V8. More and more are made with fruits as well as vegetables. In almost every case, the fruit-flavored V8s contain far more sugar than the original version and are no better or worse than other fruit juices on the market.
Final Thoughts - So, Is V8 Good For You?
As with most juices, the ingredients used to make V8 are stripped of many of their nutritional properties during the juicing process. Plus, with its high sodium content, the beverage can become unhealthy if you start drinking more than one a day. Because of this, V8 should not be used as a replacement for eating vegetables. If you will otherwise eat whole fruits and vegetables then do that, as that is the healthiest route. However, if you choose to grab a bottle of V8, rest assured it is better than a lot of juices on the market. As a drink, this makes a great addition to leading a healthy, and balanced diet and lifestyle.